Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual

David Treuer
Published in 2006
by Graywolf Press

Ojibwe author, critic, and professor David Treuer challenges readers to broaden how they engage with Native American literature in this collection of essays examining the works of authors such as Forrest Carter, James Fenimore Cooper, Louise Erdrich, and Leslie Marmon Silko. With playful chapter titles including “How to Hate/Love an Indian,” “The Myth of Myth,” and “Some Final Thoughts About the Non-Existence of Native American Fiction,” Treuer looks at the ways in which Native American writing has been judged by their origins and by what is seen as authentic rather than the literary quality of their work. “The sentiment (and it is a sentiment) that Native American literature should be defined by the ethnicity of its producers (more so that defined by anything else) says more about politics and identity than it does about literature,” writes Treuer. “Ultimately, the study of Native American fiction should be the study of style.”     

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